Take a look at this document on ReadWriteWeb, which is one of the most popular technology blogs worldwide. Just scan it. Notice that bold block in the middle of it, advising Facebook users that they aren’t on Facebook?
Apparently, in this article about Facebook Connect (Facebook’s attempt to expand its influence around the entire web by letting users treat their Facebook login as a universal trusted identity with which they can log in to any site utilizing the service), the authors found themselves buried under an army of clueless users somehow mistaking their site for a way to log in to their Facebook accounts, because this page scored really high in Google News’s results for the search term “Facebook login.” This means that instead of going to Facebook.com and looking for a login link there, a gazillion people Googled the phrase, ended up at ReadWriteWeb, scrolled to the comments section, and mistook the link to log in with their Facebook credentials and comment for a link to actually log in to Facebook itself. Read the comments.
The relic of the entire situation is pretty funny: Read these comments from annoyed users who really just want to log into Facebook and are protesting that they can’t get to their friends lists. It’s a terrifying look into a darkly burning eye of inexperience I never want to see again. I see things like this happening, and suddenly I’m scared and disoriented. There’s a howling wind around me and a voice booms, “Where’s your god now?” It’s bad. This invalidates about fifteen years of work on my part, and leaves me wanting to throw up my hands, walk away from the web completely, and, I don’t know, get certified as a personal trainer or something else totally unrelated to the web.
There’s another layer of interest to this, and that’s the reaction you’re reading now. This gaffe at ReadWriteWeb happened on February 11th, and I’m writing this on the 12th. I am most definitely not the first—a search through Google for “Facebook login” now yields easily 20 articles pointing to this one incident, which means that this entire episode is a wake-up call to more designers and developers than just me. Hopefully it’ll be enough of a scare to result in some decent research to make the web easier to comprehend.